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Queen's University Belfast

  • Required GPA: 3.0 (4.0 scale)
  • Academic requirement: Student should have completed their Freshman year at university
  • Application deadline: April 15
  • Program advisor: Chris Harrison
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Program Snapshot


We're so excited that you're preparing to study abroad on an IFSA-Butler program and have chosen Queen's University as your destination for the summer. The International Summer School program at Queen's is taught by the Institute of Irish Studies, which was founded in 1965 and the first of its kind to be established in the United Kingdom and Ireland. The Institute of Irish Studies is an internationally-renowned centre of Irish scholarship and during the summer program you'll have the chance to hear and interact with internationally-acclaimed scholars on various aspects of the study of Ireland, including history, politics, anthropology, film and theatre, language, music and literature. We are sure that you will love it!

There is just one form, in addition to the forms for your IFSA-Butler application, that you'll need to complete before your application is ready to be submitted to the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen's University for an admissions decision. The form can be found under the Forms tab .

What the Queen's summer program has to offer

  • A terrific series of lectures and presentations related to Irish Studies
  • Internationally recognized scholars who lecture on Irish history, anthropology, politics, language, literature, film and theatre
  • Field trips to historical and cultural landmarks
  • Location in the heart of the south side of Belfast, known for its vibrant student atmosphere and culture


  • Single bedroom with shared bathroom, kitchen and living area in university-operated housing
  • Just a 15-minute walk from the center of campus
  • Residence serves a hot breakfast each morning


Academic Structure

The summer program at Queen's is an exciting, jam-packed three week program that blends traditional learning with fieldwork and social activity. Students are encouraged to learn about Irish and Northern Irish culture both inside and outside of the classroom. Lectures and seminars are given by internationally-acclaimed scholars from Queen's University and elsewhere on various aspects of the study of Ireland, including history, politics, anthropology, film and theatre, music, language and literature.

Students also have the opportunity to meet and have discussions with representatives of Northern Ireland's political parties, often within the walls of the Stormont Parliament Buildings, which is the seat of devolved government in Northern Ireland. Aspects of the conflict and the current situation in Northern Ireland are explored and examined through meetings and dialogue with community group leaders, church leaders, politicians and the Police Service of Northern Ireland.

Field excursions include archaeological, historical and cultural sites in Belfast and beyond. A fieldtrip to the historical city of Derry incorporates a visit to the Tower Museum, the Museum of Free Derry and a tour of the murals and the Derry walls. Trips to the famous Giant's Causeway on the North Antrim Coast and to Dunluce Castle are also included.


The focus of the summer program is Irish Studies, which is one of the most established subject areas within the field of 'Area Studies.' The summer program is an interdisciplinary program covers all subjects in the field of Irish Studies such as history, anthropology, literature, politics, film, theatre and drama.

To view a last year's program, please click here.

Course Restrictions

Students attending the IFSA-Butler summer program at the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen's University are required to take the summer program for credit and to complete all work.


You must take a full Queen's University International Summer Schools course load as determined by IFSA-Butler. Students will receive 3 U.S. semester credit hours for completion of the Irish Studies summer program. The course is graded on an A–F scale, and there is no provision for pass/fail or audit. Program participation is not intended for just personal enrichment, but also to gain academic credit. Students must take Irish Studies for credit and complete all course work.


Students do not have exams, but rather are required to attend the mandatory lectures, seminars and field trips. Students will also be required to complete an essay between 5,000 and 7,000 words, including bibliography, to be submitted at the end of the program by the deadline established by the Institute for Irish Studies, Queen's University.


After you have returned to the U.S., your home university will receive a Butler University transcript with the credit you earned on the Queen's University International Summer School program. The Butler University transcript will report the equivalent U.S. semester credit hours and letter grades. We also will send an official transcript to your permanent address.

Suggested Reading List

The summer program designed by the Institute of Irish Studies, Queen's University is to give students a broad introduction to Irish Studies. However, some background knowledge would enable you to gain more from the program. If you wish to read or research a bit before you go, here is a suggested Reading List that will help you.

General Political and Historical Information
For academic research and links to organisations in Northern Ireland such as libraries, the media. local government etc, please visit the Institute of Irish Studies website

For information on the troubles, the background to the Northern Ireland peace process and much more, visit the Conflict Archive on the CAIN website

In particular, look at the section called 'Background on the Northern Ireland Conflict'

In this section you can read:

John Darby's article 'Northern Ireland, The Background to the Peace Process'

Also on the CAIN website in the Parade section of 'Key Issues on the Northern Ireland Conflict' you can read:

'Drumcree: An Introduction to Parade Disputes' a chapter from the book Orange Parades: The Politics of Ritual, Tradition and Control by Dominic Bryan (2000)

'The Endless Parade' a chapter from the book Material Conflicts by Neil Jarman (1997)

Books: General Background to Politics and History in Northern Ireland

Fraser, Tom 'Ireland in conflict 1922 – 1998 (London: Routledge, 1999)

Hennessey, Thomas 'A history of Northern Ireland 1920-1996' (Dublin: Gill & Macmillan, 1997)

McKittrick, David and McVea, David 'Making sense of the troubles' (Belfast: Blackstaff, 2000)

Mulholland, Marc 'Northern Ireland: a very short introduction' (Oxford University Press: 2003)

Environment and Landscape

Evans, E. Estyn 'The personality of Ireland : habitat, heritage and history' (Blackstaff Press, 1981)

Aalen, Whelan, Stout (eds) 'Atlas of the Irish Rural Landscape' (Cork University Press 1997)


Bardon, Jonathan 'A History of Ulster' (Blackstaff, 1992)

McIntosh, Gill 'The force of culture: Unionist identities in 20th Century Ireland' (Cork University Press, 1999)

Literature and the Troubles

Seamus Heaney, 'Selected Poems' (Faber, London 1980)

Wilson, Robert McLiam, 'Eureka Street' (Secker & Warburg, London, 1996)

Recommended Literature Websites:

The International Association for the Study of Irish Literatures is a main academic organization dealing with Irish literature. Many interesting things here, plus links to a host of other Irish literary resources, archive and website.

Island Ireland is a very good opening link which will lead you to many other places, such as:
CELT: The Online Resource for Irish history, literature and politics
Irish Literature, Mythology, Folklore and Drama

You should also refer to the Institute for Irish Studies website for information on local organisations, archives, libraries and community groups etc at:


Summer Program Housing

Students on the Queen's University summer program live in Queen's Elms, which are furnished student residence halls approximately a 15-minute walk from campus. The individual bedrooms are grouped in units of 10-11 rooms. The single study bedrooms are en-suite.

The residence halls are equipped with telephones and have a common room where students can watch television, study or get together. A self-service laundry room is available six days a week.


There are not any meal plans at Queen's. The accommodation is self-catering. However, a cooked breakfast (cereal, toast, bacon, sausage, egg, potato bread, soda bread, tea/coffee and juice) will be available each morning and is included in your program fee. Breakfast is normally served between 8.00–9.00 a.m. You will also have access to kitchen facilities where you may prepare lunch and dinner. If you prefer not to cook, several cafes and restaurants are nearby.

Housing FAQs

Is my housing included in the program fee?
Yes. Your program fee includes accommodation at the university while the programs are in session. You will be responsible for the cost of your meals and any commuting costs you may incur.

Will I have access to a computer?
Yes. All students have access to one of the open access computer facilities for the duration of the Summer School between the hours of 9am and 5pm. You may bring your laptop and will be able to connect to the University network from your room - you must inform us on the housing preference form if you will be bringing a laptop and also remember to bring along all leads for your computer. Wireless facilities are not yet available in the bedrooms at Queen' Elms, although the Student Centre (known as the Treehouse) at Queen's Elms does have wi-fi, as well as desk top computers - the Treehouse has restricted opening hours but is usually available until approximately 10:30 p.m. each night.

Computer logins/passwords will be issued on the first morning of registration at Queen's.

Will I need to bring my own sheets?
A duvet, pillow and sheets (changed every 7 days) will be provided. Towels (changed every 3 days), kitchen pack (crockery, cutlery, etc) and a toiletry pack will also be provided. Students will need to provide their own washcloths.

What should I do if I have any special needs?
If you have any special needs related to your accommodation, please notify IFSA-Butler as early as possible so that we have adequate time to make appropriate arrangements. Please note that special needs are not the same as accommodation requests or preferences. Accommodation is guaranteed, but your preferences are not.

When will I receive my housing assignment?
You will receive your housing assignment when you arrive in Belfast for the IFSA-Butler orientation. All students are housed in Queen's Elms Village.

Location Info

Queen's and the Institute for Irish Studies

Founded by Queen Victoria in 1845 as the Queen's University in Ireland, the university was designed to be a non-denominational alternative to Trinity College Dublin, which was controlled by the Anglican Church.

There were three Queen's Colleges - in Cork, Galway and Belfast. Although it was the first university in the north of Ireland, Queen's drew on a tradition of learning which goes back to 1810 and the foundation of the Belfast Academical Institution.

Queen's welcomed its first group of 90 students in 1849 into a beautiful new college building designed and built by Charles Lanyon. Since then, the University estate has grown to more than 300 buildings, many of them listed for their architectural importance.

The most significant date in the early years of the university's life was 1908 when the three Queen's Colleges, and the Royal University (which replaced the Queen's University in Ireland in 1879), were dissolved and replaced by the Queen's University Belfast and the National University of Ireland.

The Institute of Irish Studies at Queen's University Belfast was the first of its kind to be established in the United Kingdom and Ireland (1965). It was established "to encourage interest and to promote and co-ordinate research in those fields of study which have a particular Irish interest."

The Institute is one of the leading centers for research-led teaching in Irish Studies. At the two most recent research assessment exercises, when all university departments in the United Kingdom were assessed and rated on the quality of their research on a scale of 1-5, the Institute achieved a top grade 5.

The Institute of Irish Studies is organized not as a stand alone research unit, but as a focus for the larger body of research being undertaken at Queen's University and beyond. The main research strategy is to explore the social, political, cultural and geographical factors that have influenced the people of this island and its diasporas. Research is conducted into the physical and political environment of the north of Ireland, mapping its unique influence on wider Irish and British identities. The Institute has offered a very popular MA program since 1987, providing the opportunity for graduates to undertake interdisciplinary study in the field of Irish Studies:

The Director of the Institute is Dr Dominic Bryan. His research interests include political anthropology, ethnicity, Orangeism, policing and human rights. Dr. Bryan is also the head of the Summer program.


About Belfast
Population: 500,000
Location: County Antrim, in the East
City features

  • Offers a vibrant social and cultural life in a location with spectacular natural views
  • Voted the fourth favorite city in the U.K. by the Guardian/Observer travel awards
  • A thriving café culture
  • Great restaurants, bars and dance clubs offer terrific nightlife
  • Has a compact layout and numerous retail districts
  • Victorian and Edwardian buildings lend the city a dignified air, but the large student population gives Belfast a youthful atmosphere

Do more!

  • Explore Belfast on foot to discover its theatres, cinemas, museums, art galleries and parks
  • Enjoy great clubs, live music and pubs along Belfast's riverfront and the bohemian feel and inexpensive restaurants in the southern part of the city
  • Explore the glorious scenery of Northern Ireland
  • Ride a train from Belfast to Dublin, just three hours away
  • Take one of the ferries that regularly leave Belfast for Scotland

Belfast Queen's Quarter
Botanic Gardens
Friar's Bush Graveyard
River Lagan Towpath
Queen's Film Theatre
Queen's University Welcome Centre
Ulster Museum
Go to Belfast
City of Belfast
Discover Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland Tourist Board

Dates & Fees

Program Dates

Your program end date may change due to circumstances beyond IFSA-Butler's control. Upon arrival at your host university, be sure to verify your exam schedule and program end date. We also strongly recommend that you investigate fees and penalties associated with your airline tickets in case you need to make date or route changes.

Program housing is available only until the day shown on the calendar as “Program ends.”

Exams must be taken where and when scheduled. Under no circumstances may students request that an exam time be changed.

Program Fees

What's included in our Ireland summer program fees
Expense calculator


Payment Due: May 15

Program Fee Bills
IFSA-Butler will send a single bill for the entire program fee, which includes tuition, services and housing. Students who opt for independent housing will not be charged the housing component of the program fee.

The housing component of our program fee is based on the average cost of local student self-catering accommodation, usually a shared room in a regular dormitory, apartment or house without any extra features.

**The housing component of our program fee includes daily breakfast.

† Housing Deposit
Students in summer programs do not pay the $300 housing deposit.

Personal Cost Estimates

Expense calculator

These figures are designed to assist students with financial planning but are only estimates based on past students’ experiences at the current exchange rate. They do not include any entertainment or vacation travel costs.

The above numbers are general estimates of expenses during a program abroad. We recommend taking into account your current spending habits, the cost of living in your host country and the current exchange rate. Your IFSA-Butler program advisor can be helpful as you attempt to work on a personal budget for your experience abroad.

**Meals: The housing component of our program fee includes daily breakfast.

Personal Miscellaneous: Covers general expenses of college life, including course supplies, photocopying, toiletries, snacks, personal care, etc.

All costs are in U.S. dollars.


Applicants to the summer program at Queen's University Belfast must complete one form in addition to the IFSA-Butler application. Please download, print and complete the following:

Submit this form along with the remainder of your IFSA-Butler application as soon as possible. Once your IFSA-Butler application and this form have been received, your application can be sent to the Institute for Irish Studies! Your forms can be sent to IFSA-Butler via email, fax, or regular mail. You can track which application forms IFSA-Butler has received by logging into the Student Portal.

Meet Your IFSA-Butler Team

IFSA-Butler has a dedicated team of staff who are here to help students prepare for their summer program at Queen's University Belfast:

chris harrisonDirector of Student Services Chris Harrison assists with the application process and is here to answer program, cultural and academic questions before departure. Chris lived abroad in Coleraine, Northern Ireland for several years, and has traveled extensively throughout the U.K., Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. In 2000, Chris joined IFSA-Butler as a program advisor in order to help students study abroad and experience new cultures, and she continues to be responsible for programs as well as IFSA-Butler student services worldwide. Contact Chris at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4215.

altStudent Accounts Coordinator Angelita Shaffer assists with the financial side of study abroad and processes payments and invoices. Angelita can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4221.


donnettaStudent & Parent Services Manager Donnetta Spears is available to both students and parents for travel questions and information. Donnetta has worked with IFSA-Butler since 2000, and she has traveled through parts of Europe, Latin America, Australia and New Zealand. As the mother of 4 college students (including one who studied abroad on an IFSA-Butler program), she has a deep understanding of the ins-and-outs of study abroad from a parent perspective. Donnetta can be reached at the email link above or at 317-940-4252.

Once abroad, our students are in the capable hands of our on-site office in Dublin. Click here to read more about Resident Director Maria Keane.

paigeUpon return from your study abroad program, Academic Affairs Coordinator Paige Ward processes your Butler University transcript and assists with any academic record queries. Paige graduated from Butler University, and she studied abroad for a semester in Paris, Belfast, London and the English Lake District.  Studying abroad for Paige was an eye-opening and knowledge-gaining experience, and she is excited to work with students who are looking for the same. Paige can be reached at the email link above or at 800-858-0229 ext. 4254.

Get Connected

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Connect with IFSA-Butler Students

If you really want to know what it's like to study abroad, connect with IFSA-Butler alumni and students who are currently abroad on an IFSA-Butler program, check out the following:

Student Network
Student Blogs
Experiences Abroad Videos
For Students


The Queen's University Belfast summer program has a new partnership with the Fulbright Commission. Students can apply to the Fulbright Commission for a substantial scholarship. However, students still apply through IFSA-Butler for admission to the Queen's summer program.

Fulbright award benefits include round-trip airfare, tuition and fees, and housing and meals. Applicants must be U.S. citizens, have a GPA of 3.5, and have at least two years of undergraduate university studies left.

For more information this great opportunity, visit the Fulbright Commission website.

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